(Scrimmage) Basketball is Back

by Lauren Rosen

It’s been a long road... 

But basketball is officially here.

For the first time in over four months, the 76ers (39-26) will compete against another NBA team, doing so in a scrimmage inside the league’s Walt Disney World bubble. 

The Sixers take on the Memphis Grizzlies (32-33) in a Friday matinee, marking the first of three scrimmages before a stretch of eight seeding games tips off on Aug. 1.

Brett Brown’s top priority for Friday’s scrimmage is to see carryover from the last two weeks of practice into a competitive scenario.

“There’s a spirit amongst the group that has been an A. In general, you want to see that moving forward,” Brown said. 

Joel Embiid has seen that spirit, and the Sixers’ togetherness, grow inside the bubble.

“During the season, it’s hard to get together,” Embiid said. “Being inside the bubble is different. We’re on the same time.” 

It’s a bond that could pay off on the court.

“Since we’ve been here, we’ve been doing a lot together, and I think it’s helping us a lot. I think we’ve gotten closer.”

Back alongside fellow All-Star Ben Simmons, Embiid thinks the duo’s potential is unlimited.

“I’m excited,” Embiid said. “We’re going to dominate together.”

Friday’s contest tips at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Opponent Outlook:

The Grizzlies (32-33) are one of the most exciting young teams in the bubble - currently holding the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. Memphis has a 3.5 game lead over No. 9 Portland and No. 10 New Orleans.

Ja Morant has had a head-turning rookie season, leading his team in both scoring (17.6 ppg) and sharing (6.9 apg). In Jaren Jackson Jr.’s sophomore campaign, he’s averaged 16.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, and a team-high 1.6 blocks per game.

Follow Along:

Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia / MyTeams App

Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic

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